The spice of life

Full weight and nutritional rehabilitation are necessary first steps to recovery from all eating disorders. But does it matter what foods you eat?

Anecdotally, parents report that variety and energy-rich foods improve outcome.

These parents may be right: those whose post-recovery diet includes less dietary energy density and diet variety appear to have higher rates of relapse. Even with the same caloric intake, the content matters. And this makes sense, nutritionally AND behaviorally.

So for the recovered anorexics who get enough calories but they are all in lettuce, and the recovered bulimics and binge eaters who live on cereal, we can say: variety is truly the spice of life.


  1. This is SO TRUE! And I think one of the benefits of having my parents take charge of my eating: the variety of foods. Part of my challenge now is to keep up that variety, not just from an ED perspective, but also from a time perspective.

    I just got back from the grocery store and it felt nice to have a wide variety of foods (produce, meat, dairy, breads, goodies). Many of these are staples, but it can be SO detrimental to eat the same foods every single day. Not only physically, but mentally: the OCD perservations, the rigidity and lack of ability to socialize, etc.

    Maybe I'll season tonight's stew with some variety.


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